Columbia Branch

the Nine-mile

The Columbia Branch

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Running nine miles from McBaine to the end of the line, the branch line to Columbia has an interesting and diverse history.

Much of the original 75 lb rail originally laid down in 1901 was still in use when the branch line was removed from service in 1977, following a suspicious trestle fire just south of town.

The locals always ran during the week, never on the weekends, to make sure that the section crews would be available in case of a derailment…which happened often on the Columbia Branch.

Locals were called “as-needed” and the trains run under a standing 5 mph speed restriction along the entire length of the Columbia Branch. The locals were served exclusively by GP-7 - the lightest locomotives in the Katy fleet.

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The MKT Columbia Depot was built in 1909 and placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1979.

Images of the Columbia Local - 1975-1976

The Mighty Katy